LOVEITTS urges Coventry City Centre Developers not to neglect other market sectors at a time when the emphasis seems to be very much focused on delivering an increasing number of student rooms, the net effect of which is the loss of traditional office accommodation which is driving other commercial enterprises out of the city centre.
Obviously, the importance of the student sector is recognised with Coventry offering two first class Universities with more than 20,000 new students from over 140 Countries making Coventry and Warwickshire their home this year.
Several large-scale student developments have been built in response to recent demand or are currently under construction in areas including Gosford Gate, Millennium View, Belgrade Plaza and Bishopgate.
In very recent times planning has also been granted for a new 266-bed student block on Harper Road almost directly facing Coventry University where Loveitts acted for the landowner in putting the deal together.
Within the City Centre itself though and on the periphery of the ring road significant former office space has now been lost to student accommodation, most obviously on Queens Road which previously offered local businesses and professional occupiers a range of traditional office accommodation. This is now an area predominantly comprising HMO student accommodation.
Moreover, a number of buildings within the ring road itself are now being targeted as suitable for conversion to student accommodation. This will inevitably force existing office occupiers out of the city centre and potentially out of Coventry itself if the city is unable to respond to the current challenge and provide suitable office accommodation for its commercial enterprises as well as the student rooms required to meet current demand.
Loveitts Director, John Pugh, said that whilst student accommodation has increased demand for commercial property in the City Centre it is at the same time creating a shortage. Developers want properties to be student accommodation rather than offices but if office occupiers are forced out of the City Centre then the other contributors to the local economy could follow.
Mr. Pugh is calling for a greater mix of developments in the City Centre.
He added: - ’There are numerous commercial enterprises which favour a City Centre location as often they are dealing with general members of the public – Estate Agents, Accountants and Solicitors being a case in point, amongst many others. A hybrid approach to City Centre developments will lead to sustainable growth for all stakeholders.’
LOVEITTS, established in 1843, this year celebrates its 175th Anniversary. Specialising in properties across Coventry and Warwickshire Loveitts is the only locally based auctioneer. It is also the largest independent multi-disciplinary practice of Estate Agents, Chartered Surveyors, Valuers and Auctioneers in the region.